Luxury Purchases by Billionaires People Wouldn’t Even Fathom

Shannon Quinn - May 23, 2021
The rich can literally get away with anything. Credit: Shutterstock

10. Paid Body Doubles to Go to Prison For You

Here in the United States, one of the only ways to stop a billionaire from misbehaving is to get him in trouble with the law. Heck, even Al Capone was taken down for tax evasion. But in China, millionaires can get away with serving their prison sentence by hiring someone to do it for them. These body doubles need to at least closely resemble the real person, in order for this to work. 

Since there is such a wide gap between China’s rich and poor, there are a lot of people struggling to make ends meet. This is why some men agree to do this in order to have their family provided for the rest of their lives. Or, they might receive a large sum of money when they have completed their jail sentence. Meanwhile, the millionaire needs to keep a low profile, and stay out of the press. But at least they are free, and enjoying the comforts of home.

Luxury sports coaching means working with actual pro athletes. Credit: Shutterstock

9. Getting Pro Athletes to Be Your Personal Coach

For some people, hiring a personal trainer is a sign that you’ve “made it”. Not only are you making the effort to get in shape and go to the gym, but you’re making enough money to pay someone between $25 to $100 per coaching session. But for millionaires, that’s often not enough. They don’t want just anyone with a degree in health and fitness from the local community college. Millionaires often hire former pro athletes to train them, as well as their kids who may be playing on their High School or college team.

I live in New Jersey, so I’m not too far from the wealthy elites of New York City. This is something I’ve personally witnessed a lot in my area’s tennis and golf community. These sports aren’t just a form of exercise. They’re also a networking opportunity. Business deals are sometimes made out on the golf course. So it makes sense that powerful business leaders want to improve their golf swing, so they don’t look like a fool. And like most millionaires, they want the best of the best. Normally, they can’t hire someone who is too busy training for an upcoming tournament or professional sports season. Pro trainers are usually people who have retired, but they’re still fit enough to teach someone else.

Why wait in traffic when you have the luxury of flying to your destination? Credit: Shutterstock

8. Flying Taxi Service

Why drive somewhere when you could fly? In places like New York City, traffic is notoriously horrible. It takes so long to get from one end of the city to another, that you could be in the car for over an hour just to drive a couple miles. That’s why a lot of rich people opt to pay for helicopter taxis to take them from place to place…For the longest time, this was something that only the elites could afford. Now, you can get a helicopter service for a few hundred dollars. Typically, this is used by New Yorkers who are trying to get to the airport in under 10 minutes, instead of waiting an hour in traffic. For most people, it’s worth leaving early and bearing the commute, instead of wasting so much money.

But now, thanks to modern technology, flying taxis are now closer than you might think. Recently, information on Uber Elevate was released online, showcasing Uber’s plans to expand to offering travel via small aircrafts. In 2020, Uber Elevate was purchased by Joby Aviation. Maybe someday, our world really will look like Tomorrowland.

Rich people swap luxury furniture out regularly. Credit: Shutterstock

7. Rare and Seasonal Furniture

A Reddit user called StiffCoffeePlease explain the following concept:

“Seasonal furniture…Meaning their house is furnished multiple different ways (furniture included) and they pay someone to store it and swap it out a couple of times a year.” Similarly, I’ve known millionaires who get bored of their furniture very quickly. They might remodel their entire house in a certain aesthetic, only to get tired of it after two years. Then, they completely redesign their home again to fit whatever is happening with the newest trend. 

For the record, this is furniture from places like Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, and more. So they are spending thousands of dollars per year swapping out new furniture. There are some brands that most people have never even heard of, like a Cloud Couch for $20,000. But the real money comes in when you start buying antiques. In case you were wondering, most expensive piece of furniture ever purchased was a cabinet bought by Prince Hans Adam II for $36 million.

The Deep Sea Challenger cost James Cameron $500 million. Credit: Shutterstock

6. James Cameron’s Submarine “Deep Sea Challenger”

James Cameron earned his fortune by directing several famous box office hits like Terminator, Aliens, Titanic, and Avatar. Before he filmed Titanic, Cameron acquired a $500 million submarine called the “Deep Sea Challenger“. This submarine was the first of its kind- a mobile underwater filming unit. But this isn’t just an expensive toy. Because of this submarine, James Cameron was able to film Titanic in a way that the story was never portrayed before. He has collaborated with National Geographic to film several underwater documentaries, as well.

This is an example of a wise business investment. What most people don’t realize is that Rolex and National Geographic also helped to pay for the creation of the submarine. But since he’s a famous Hollywood movie director, James Cameron gets all the credit. He currently has a net worth of $700 million, not including the sub.

For some reason, millionaires are obsessed with sharks. Credit: Shutterstock

5. Sharks

Yep, sharks. Both alive and dead. Remember in the Austin Powers movie when Dr. Evil had a tank of sharks with lasers on their head? Turns out that’s not too far from the truth. Okay, jokes aside, For whatever reason, a lot of millionaires have a thing for sharks. Maybe it’s because they are one of the most dangerous predators in the sea, and rich people can relate to that. Or maybe it’s because sharks don’t get cancer, and they’re wishful thinking? I once dated a guy who kept pet sharks, too. I wish I was joking. When I tried asking why, he said “because they’re cool.” The relationship didn’t last long.

Billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen purchased a work of art that is quite literally just the body of a dead shark, titled, “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living”. Okay. Sure. Cool. But he paid $12 million for it. Why? I don’t know. So he can enjoy Shark Week every week, I guess.

Teresa Roemer owns the world’s largest closet. Credit: Ryan Serhant on YouTube

4. A 3-Story Closet

Here at Home Addict, we already shared some stories about the world’s most luxurious closets. The biggest closet in the world belongs to Teresa Roemer in Texas. Both she and her husband are entrepreneurs, and they have made over $20 million in the Texas oil industry. Throughout her marriage, Teresa loved to throw charity events in her house. Every time women would come over, they asked to see her closet. So she decided to just expand her closet to be big enough to house the charity event. Now, it’s a 3-level closet that spans over 3,000 square feet. This is big enough to fit 100 people during her events. Everything is locked with a fingerprint control, and she even has staff in charge of the closet.

It must have cost well over $1 million to construct this massive closet. And that doesn’t cover the value of her purses, clothing, and accessories. Not many people realize that fashion is an amazing investment. Some people will buy a purse and flip it for double the price one year later. So it’s actually a great way to make money. Teresa has so much stuff in her collection, all of her items have to be catalogued so that she can keep track of where everything is, what it’s worth, and more.

One billionaire was so rich, he bought an entire island in Hawaii. Credit: Shutterstock

3. Buying Your Own Hawaiian Island

When most people think about Hawaii, they know that it’s a popular vacation destination, as well as a home to many people. But one billionaire named Larry Ellison loved Hawaii so much, he decided to buy the island of Lanai for $300 million in 2012. Personally, I didn’t even know someone could do that. Even though he owns the island now, the original residents are still living there, but they pay rent to use the land. And he also purchased all of the vacation resorts, which means he pockets that revenue, as well. Since buying the island, he has invested an additional $500 million to make it more sustainable for the environment.

It should be no surprise that in 2020, Larry Ellison decided to move to Lanai and manage his company, Oracle, through Zoom during the pandemic. Unfortunately, Larry didn’t have total control over the situation. At first, Lanai was Covid-free all through the spring and summer. But their first cases came in October, when they finally tried to re-open the resorts. Lanai was still hit by Covid pretty hard, because they don’t have a critical care unit in their hospital. Basically, owning your own private island isn’t as luxurious as you would imagine. Ellison had a lot of responsibility to protect the people of Lanai during the pandemic.

Imagine the luxury of having a manager running your house for you. Credit: Shutterstock

2. Hiring a House Manager

If you own a house, you’re technically a house manager. And anyone who is a housewife knows how much work goes into managing a house, but they rarely get paid. But what happens when you’re wealthy, and you own multiple mansions around the world? Billionaires will hire a “house manager” to look after their house while they’re gone. This is similar to property management, but it goes one step further, because the house manager is usually working there full time. They handle hiring and managing any cleaning staff, paying for utilities, hiring landscapers, and more. It’s very much like a modern-day version of Downton Abbey.

A Reddit user named Sincere Enthusiasm had a story about his experience working in a wealthy person’s home: “I worked as a house cleaner in college, and I was hired by the house manager! The owner asked me to trap any scorpions I found so he could make him fight in the scorpion tank at his office.”

Vertu is a luxury phone company that very few people have heard about. Credit: Vertu Online

1. Private Smartphones that Come With a Butler Button

Vertu luxury smart phones are known for being the most expensive in the world. Many of their models cost over $9,000. Buying a new iPhone for $1,000 is bad enough as it is. So what makes them so great? After looking at some unboxing videos online, it’s difficult to understand why you would want one. The website offers to custom-build a phone for you in any material you like. So you could have a smartphone made of leather, gold, or whatever you want. There is also a “butler” or concierge button you can press. This person will help you get pretty much anything you need.

For the record, many elite credit card companies like the American Express Black Card also come with a concierge service, too. But when you really dig into what this job entails, it is the equivalent of hiring a personal or virtual assistant. Any business owner can hire a freelance PA or VA for $15 per hour, and ask them to complete certain tasks within a certain number of hours per week. So when you think about the perks of these luxury services, they might not actually make a lot of financial sense. Except, of course, these companies recruit the concierge for you without doing any hiring or interviewing.